From the Bahrain Tribune, with thanks to Ruth King, who cogently observes: “The Vatican spokesman ignores the long history of the suffering of Christians under Muslim rule. Blaming the war on terror is easier than confronting dhimmitude.”
Indeed. The situation for Christians in Iraq has deteriorated not just because they are identified with the West, but because the newly assertive jihadists, who since the fall of Saddam have been trying to institute Sharia there, are already treating Christians according to Sharia rules. Thus they kill those who sell alcohol, for example, because to do so in a place where Muslims can buy it is forbidden by Sharia. Thus to sell it violates the dhimma, the contract of protection for non-Muslims in Islamic society, and makes their lives forfeit. Also, if Christians are viewed as cooperating with the Americans, they are also considered fair game.
But ultimately, Lajolo shows no indication of being aware that for centuries, wherever Islamic law was in force, Christians were despised, discriminated against, humiliated, and persecuted. That is not a situation that will change if the U.S. leaves Iraq, because it is based on Sharia, and is not a reaction to any events that jihadists might nevertheless point to as a pretext.
ROME: Anti-Christian feeling is spreading in Muslim countries and other parts of the world because the war on terrorism is seen as linked to Western political strategy, the Vatican’s foreign minister said yesterday.
Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, in a speech to a US-organised conference on religious freedom, was the latest Vatican official to decry what the Church fears will be a difficult future in regions where Christians are in the minority.
“It should be recognised that the war against terrorism, even though necessary, had as one of its side-effects the spread of “˜Christianophobia” in vast areas of the globe,” he told the conference.
Lajolo, the Vatican’s second-ranking diplomat, said anti-Christian feeling existed where political strategies of Western countries were believed to be driven by Christianity.
He said this was why the Vatican had insisted that “Christianophobia be condemned together with Islamophobia and anti-Semitism” in recent UN human rights documents.
While he did not specifically mention Iraq, his comments appeared to be a reference to it and other Islamic nations where minority Christians have come under attack.
A spate of bombs have hit churches and hospitals in the past few months, leaving numerous dead and injured.
Iraq’s 650,000 Christians, mostly Chaldeans, Assyrians and Catholics, comprise about 3 per cent of the population. Many have left Iraq and the Vatican fears more will go if attacks go on.